Workers Blocked Cerrejon Coal Mine Rail Line in Colombia
Reuters reported that former workers have again blocked Colombian coal miner Cerrejon's rail line, the latest protest to recently affect the beleaguered miner's operations. The company and the government had conversations with ex-workers blocking the company rail line and the Media Luna community, which was barricading a road out of Cerrejon's port. They made deals late last week to lift blockades and Cerrejon said it would gradually restart operations.
Cerrejon, jointly owned by BHP Group, Anglo American Plc and Glencore, has had repeated disagreements with nearby Wayuu indigenous communities and its largest union, which held a three-month strike last year. The company in late May declared force majeure and halted operations because of two blockades which prevented it from bringing in supplies of gasoline. One was mounted by former workers upset by recent job cuts and another by members of a nearby indigenous community which has made repeated environmental complaints about Cerrejon.
Cerrejon produced 12.4-million tonnes of coal in 2020, down almost 52% from 2019, and its exports fell to their lowest level in the past 18 years amid coronavirus restrictions and falling global demand for coal.